Max Payne - Review

The time of Remedy Entertainment being at the wheel of Max Payne has passed, as such the flame has passed into the competent hands of Rockstar who lets face it are well known for the games they produce over the last few gaming generations, but it has been a whole 9 years since Max Payne was last wheeled out for an adventure, so has the series stood the test of time, or have old age and a keen taste for strong alcohol got the better of our beloved guns man.

It seems that over the years the only thing that has changed is Maxs age, sure he seems to have a few more wrinkles, an even darker and meaner temper than before and still shows no sign of slowing down on the booze, but has that stopped him from leaping through the air like a maniac while dual wielding a pair of high powered pistols, not one bit!

The game has changed very little, which in my opinion is a good thing as when this game was launched I was concerned they would butcher it into some modern defacto 3rd person shooter and loose what was so great about the original. Max Payne defined a genre when it was originally released, with the first in the trilogy came the original bullet time mechanics and epic slow motion diving and gunning action that set the pace for how fun a 3rd person shooter can be.

Max Payne - Review

The 90's cop movie slow motion diving is still ever present, giving you the tools you need to look kick ass and kick some ass all in one move, we also still have the slick, yet gritty comic book presentation, all paced nicely with Maxs deep self loathing inner monologue to keep the story flowing, even if a lot of the cut scenes literally look fuzzy due to his addiction to painkillers.

The story is actually pretty good for an almost comical action game. Its really well voice acted and the characters are a good mixture of entertaining and annoying in all the right places, but what really matters is how it plays, which fortunately is still pretty damn good, while there isn't a lot of depth to the game and sequences can feel quite linear, it is still a lot of fun to get stuck into and play, thankfully Max Payne 3 doesn't take itself too seriously either, despite its gritty presentation.

Max Payne - Review

The real fruit here thought has to be the multiplayer, with plenty of customisation options, a solid ranking and unlocking system and your usual smattering of death match, team death match and simple objective games amongst others, but most importantly is the inclusion of softlock and free aim multiplayer playlists, making sweet room for people like me that love to kick back with the 360 controller.  Before the trolls start kicking off (hello trolls, I know you're there) I know keyboard and mouse is better, this is a well documented fact, but quite frankly, I spend all day typing and its nice to put my feet up, kick back and switch my PC over to the big screen, the fact that I can enjoy a stern and competitive multiplayer selection on PC while doing this is a huge win in my opinion, then when the fancy takes me I can still get my keyboard and mouse action on.

The big selling point for Rockstar has to be there level of blood, sweat and tears they put into this title, not content with porting the title straight over to PC, this edition was built from the ground up along side its console counterparts, designed to take advantage of every graphical and processing benefit any modern gaming rig can muster, with support for everything from DX9 all the way upto DX11.1, full tessellation support, 3D gaming, triple monitor setups, FXAA, MSAA, high frame rates, Nvidia and rockstar sent out a 13 page document just on the graphics engine details, but was it worth the trouble

Max Payne - Review

Of ourse it was, what a silly question, this game looks absolutely stunning, I run a GTX 460 and a 3.4ghz quad core CPU and I was able to hit maximum graphics settings and have the frame rate stay above 30fps @ 1920 x 1080, so a big win there. I'm sure the added benefits of something like a GTX 680 or HD 7000 series GPU would really add in some extra polish, richer tessellation and higher multi-screen resolutions for those that desire it.

So there we have it, another classic entry into the Max Payne saga and a game that is definitely worth your time, although bare in mind if you're going to download it on Steam, this game is a hefty 30GB download, yikes! With new masters in charge it's likely this isn't the end of the series, all eyes will no doubt be on Rockstar in a couple of years to see this series through to the next generation, but for now I'm going go leap back into the multiplayer for a few more hours.

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